Politics

Trump Calls For Unity After Gunman Opens Fire At Congressional Baseball Practice

Kaitlan Collins White House Correspondent

Donald Trump made a call for unity and praised the two Capitol Police officers who were on the scene after a gunman opened fire on a congressional baseball practice Wednesday morning.

In a statement delivered from the White House, the president confirmed that the gunman had died from his injuries.

“After 7 a.m. this morning, a gunman opened fire on members of Congress and their staffs as they were practicing for tomorrow’s annual charity baseball game,” Trump said began. “Authorities are continuing to investigate the crime, and the assailant has now died from his injuries.”

“Steve Scalise, a member of House leadership, was shot and badly wounded, and is now in stable condition. At least two others were also wounded. Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of two Capitol Hill police officers who took down the gunman during a very, very brutal assault. Melania and I are grateful for the heroism and are praying for swift recovery of all victims.”

“Congressman Scalise is a friend, a very good friend. He’s a patriot and fighter. Steve, I want you to know that you have the prayers not only of the entire city, but of an entire nation, and frankly, the entire world. America is praying for you and America is praying for all of the victims of this terrible shooting.”

“Our brave Capitol police perform a challenging job with incredible skill. Their sacrifice makes democracy possible. … Everyone on that field is a public servant. Our courageous police, our congressional aides, who work so tirelessly behind the scenes. We may have our differences, but we do well in times like this to remember that everyone who serves in our nation’s capital is here because, above all, they love our country.”

“We can all agree we are blessed to be Americans,” he added. “We are strongest when we are unified and when we work together for the common good.”

Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives, is among the reported five people who were shot. He underwent surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and is in stable condition, per his office.

The White House said Trump had spoken to Scalise’s wife, his chief of staff and House Speaker Paul Ryan. (RELATED: Scalise Undergoing Surgery And In ‘Stable Condition’ After Being Shot, Office Says)

The White House issued this statement from Trump earlier Wednesday morning: “The Vice President and I are aware of the shooting incident in Virginia and are monitoring developments closely. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with the members of Congress, their staffs, Capitol Police, first responders, and all others affected.”

Trump also tweeted that though Scalise was “badly injured,” he would “fully recover.”

The suspect was identified as James T. Hodgkinson, 66, from Belleville, Ill.